Frequently Asked Questions

What you want to know

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A FOCUS PRINTER?

A Focus 3D Printer can be purchased directly via our website or contact one of our resellers (see www.3dbyflow.com/order-now ) Currently we only deliver to EU countries.

HOW LONG IS THE DELIVERY TIME OF A PRINTER?

Delivery is within 2 weeks after payment is received.

How does the order process work?

You can submit your order through the form on our website. Once we received your order and all required details are provided you will receive a quotation within 2 working days. To confirm your order
return a signed copy of the quotation. You will receive an invoice which need to be paid upfront to final confirm your order and reserve your Focus 3D Printer. After payment we ship the printer within two weeks to your location.

Is it possible to lease or post-pay your products?

We don’t have a plan to lease or postpay our products. All products need to paid before shipment.

What other accessories or tools are recommended to order with the printer?

It is recommended to order at least 10 extra refillable cartridges to continue printing and an extra set of nozzles. Also  pliers come handy to remove the caps from the cartridges once they are empty
after printing.

Can the Focus 3D Printer be shipped or picked up?

At the moment we only ship our products to EU countries. The package is shipped with UPS. The costs are calculated based on your location included in the invoice. It is also possible to make an appointment to pickup the products at our office in Eindhoven (NL) or take the Focus 3Dprinter with you after a workshop. 

WHAT WARRANTY DO YOU PROVIDE?

One year carry-in warranty for the 3D Printer, the customer is accountable for shipping costs to and from the factory in the Netherlands. Only the printerhead is not within the warranty, since we cannot verify if suitable filaments or paste materials are used correctly.

DO YOU OFFER SUPPORT OUTSIDE OF THE NETHERLANDS?

Yes, next to the carry-in warranty, which is also applicable for users from outside the Netherlands, we can offer online support to help solve small issues which do not require repairs in our facility. If you have an issue or question please send an email to support@3dbyflow.com. We will get back to you on the next Friday. Please note that we only ship within EU wright now, and therefore only provide support in EU. 

DOES THE PRINTER COME WITH A PRINTHEAD FOR BOTH FILAMENTS AND PASTES?

You can purchase the Focus 3D Printer either with one printerhead - for paste, or filament, or with both printheads.

WHAT OPERATING SYSTEM DO YOU NEED TO USE THE PRINTER?

The printer is connected by Wi-Fi and controlled by a web browser like Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari. Therefore no drivers are required and any operating system is compatible.

I tried to print pure chocolate, but it solidifies in the refillable cartridge and nozzle just after a few minutes.

This might happen, because the Focus 3D Printer is currently not supplied with a heated cartridge system. To overcome this problem and to enable our customers to print beautiful 3D chocolate sculptures we advise to isolate the refillable cartridge and the nozzle with aluminium foil and isolation foam/tape to keep the temperature of chocolate as long as possible (up to 30mins while printing). Moreover, before filling the isolated refillable cartridge with tempered chocolate, it’s necessary to heat up the refillable cartridge and nozzle in warm water, so that the chocolate is not cooled down by a cold refillable cartridge. Last but not least, it’s important to keep the chocolate extruding all the time, so do not pause or stop the print in the meantime, because even a slight movement of the chocolate prevents it from solidifying in the refillable cartridge.

I have a lot of start stop movements (retraction) in my model, which makes the final product ‘dirty’.

To ensure high quality prints, the model should have as little individual parts as possible. We recommend you to print a model which continuously prints lines without stopping and disrupting the flow. However, it’s possible to enhance the quality by using more advanced slicing software, Simplify3D. Also feel free to contact byFlow for advice in preparing the printing file (gcode).

The lines are not connecting to each other, which deteriorates the quality.

Because it is necessary to adjust the height manually to the printing surface at the beginning of the process, it might be difficult to find the optimal height (ca.1mm off). If the nozzle is positioned too high from the printing platform, it will print ‘in the air’, which will result in separate stripes of paste. That is why it is important to set the height just a little bit above the printing platform after the print starts.

I cannot upload the file although I follow the procedure described in the manual

After you open the web page, it is crucial to wait until the page finishes loading. It happens when the byFlow logo appears. Then you can click ‘Next’ or ‘Upload’ and after you see the list of all files, upload a new one.

How can I verify if my design is printable?

After you added your model to the Slic3r software, you can click on the ‘Preview’ mode on the bottom side of the page. There you can see how the lines will be printed. If you cannot see some of the details, it means that these are too small and either you have to enlarge the whole model or use smaller nozzle size for better resolution of the print.

Sometimes the printer stops extruding for some time and then extrudes again.

That means that some air bubbles came into the refillable cartridge while filling it up. To prevent having air bubbles in your refillable cartridge, make sure that before closing it with the red knob, you tap the refillable cartridge a few times on a hard surface. The air bubbles will come up and go out of the cartridge.

When I print another object, the nozzle hits the buildplate/glassplate and gets
damaged.

After you switch on the printer you have to adjust the height to the printing surface manually, as mentioned in the Quick Start Guide, page 7. However, you only need to do it once. When your print is finished and you want to start another one, you don’t have to set the height manually again, because the printer remembers its initial position if it’s been switched on since the last adjustment. It means that if you print another object, the printhead will go down to the previous starting height, so if you lower the printhead in the meantime, it can try to go down anyway and thereby destroy the nozzle.
If you want to set a new starting level i.e. print on a different object, switch off and switch on the printer again.

My prints get loose from the Printbed (Plastic 3d printing)

There are two reasons which may cause that. One is that the nozzle prints too high above the glassplate, so the plastic doesn’t stick to it. To overcome this, go on the touchscreen to Settings-> Z-offset and increase the value by 0.1mm (e.g. from -0.5mm to -0.4mm). If it still happens, repeat the procedure. Another reason is that there is not enough 3D Lac or the bed temperature is too low. Make sure you spray 3DLac on the glassplate after every print and look if the bed temperature is the same as shown at the spool of filament (210/50 on a spool indicates 210° of nozzle and 50° of bed temperature)

Do I need to calibrate the printer every time, due to portability?

With printing filament there is automatic calibration, so the printer recognizes the position of the printing platform. When printing with the paste printhead you can manually adjust the height of the nozzle towards the object you want to print in.

WHY IS THERE ONLY WI-FI CONNECTION?

USB connection requires installing drivers that need to be compatible and updated over time.
This costly activity is no longer necessary since everything is done through the web browser and Wi-Fi uploads.

Do I always need a PC/Mac to operate the printer?

Once you upload a file to the Focus 3D Printer via WiFi it is stored in the internal memory of the printer. Now you can start a 3D print from the touchscreen. The printer is fully standalone and can be operate without a PC/Mac.

IS THE SOFTWARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

Yes, it is open source software, so also the updates are free.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO ADJUST THE SETTINGS OF THE PRINTER DURIING PRINTING, FOR EXAMPLE IF WE WANT TO INCREASE THE PRINT SPEED?

Yes, from the touchscreen during printing it is possible to adjust several settings like speed or flowrate.

WHAT SOFTWARE IS REQUIRED TO USE THE FOCUS 3D PRINTER?

The only software you need to operate the Focus 3D Printer is Slic3r – a program which transforms your 3D model to a file which is recognized by the printer. If you want to design models by yourself, you also need a designing software such as Doodle3D Transform, TinkerCAD or Solidworks.

HOW TO UPLOAD NEW FIRMWARE TO YOUR PRINTER?

New firmware improves the reliability and accuracy of the Focus 3D Printer. When we have a new firmware update, we will provide it via our website. When you connect the Focus to Wi-Fi, visit the settings page via your web browser, and click upgrade firmware. The update will be done and on the display it will state upload succeeded.

How can you print food and regular plastic
materials on the same printer?

The Focus 3D Printer uses an exchangeable printhead-system which allows you to attach two types of printheads – one for food-paste, which are extruded from a refillable cartridge and another one for plastics, where a wire of material (filament) is melted and printed. Please note that it is not possible to print those 2 types of materials at the same time.

How detailed can you print food?

Depending on the ingredients being used, the Focus can print individual lines down to 0.2mm of width. When you are printing a higher object, a more three dimensional structure, each layer can be 0.3mm high, which makes the layers barely visible.

Do you have multiple cartridges to print several food pieces at the same time?

With the new software functionality it’s possible to pause your print, swap the refillable cartridge and continue the print with another substance or colour, therefore a dual printhead system is not needed yet. To print multiple ingredients it is possible to fill the cartridges with different layers of ingredients.

How big is the cartridge for food?

The refillable cartridge is 30cc in volume, which allows you to print a ca 20x20cm flat shapes or ca 8x8x8cm three dimensional shapes.

How can I print larger objects in food?

If the capacity of one cartridge is not sufficient, it’s possible to pause your print, load a new & full refillable cartridge when the first one is empty and continue the print.

Can I really print every shape in food?

Because not all food is a very stable material to print with, there are some limitations in designs. Keep in mind that with 3D Printing of Food the paste material has to be thick and thin enough at the same time to withstand their own weight while building a high layer-structure. Of course we are bounded to the rules of gravity, which doesn’t allow us to print in the air without support. In case of uncertainty for a specific design, please contact our team for advice.

Does the portability of the printer affect the overall quality of the prints?

No, the Focus 3D Printer was designed in such a way that despite its foldable design the frame of the device is very rigid and the printed objects are very accurate.

What is the advantage of 3D Printed Food over traditional methods?

With 3D Food Printing you are able to create personalised or customised shapes that are not possible by hand or a mould. Next to this you are now also able to use soft paste materials and shape them in a way that is not possible by hand.

How does 3D Printing of Food work?

First you have to prepare a smooth paste, for example make a guacamole or use liquid chocolate. Then you load this paste into a food safe and refillable cartridge. Now the syringe can be mounted into the printhead. After uploading your design on the Focus 3D Printer, you choose your file from the display and press print. Now the paste material will be pushed out of the refillable cartridge and attached nozzle, while the printer is making a XYZ-movement. Multiple layers are being deposited on top of each other and create your desired design. For the a detailed description of the process please download our manual on the support section.

What Food can be used?

Any kind of food that can be transformed into a smooth paste is 3D printable. It can be either a product from-the-shelf like Nutella or smooth goat cheese or food that needs to be processed such as grinded meat. We tested over 35 different ingredients, but the possibilities are much higher. The list of verified materials is as follows:
- Fruits and Vegetables (12) – carrot, cauliflower, peas, avocado, potato, celery, tomato, apple, pear,    mango, passion fruit, hummus, broccoli,
- Proteins (4) – poultry, beef, lamb, salmon, makreel,
- Diary (5) – goat cheese, Greek yoghurt, whipped cream, butter, cream cheese
- Sweets (13) – dark/white/milk chocolate, ganache, buttercream, hazelnuts, meringue, Nutella, peanut    butter, Speculoos, lemon curd, cookie dough, mascarpone
- Natural additives (5) – agar-agar, gellan gum, xanthan gum, pectin, glucose syrup

I can mostly see flat, more 2D  shapes in Food. Can I also print complex three
dimensional structures?

Most of the edible ingredients are very soft, hence not applicable for high structures that have to withstand their own weight. However, together with Chefs and Food Experts we are always testing new, more stable ingredients, which can be used for 3D shapes. These are for example: chocolate, ganache, potatoes, butter, cookie dough and meringue.

ARE there any additives used to make the food printable?

Most of the food doesn’t require any additives to enhance printing properties. Mixing it properly with a blender is sufficient to make it printable. For those which are too thin, we add hydrocolloids – naturally based products like agar-agar, which are commonly used by professional chefs to change the texture of food.

Is the 3D Printed Food healthy?

Yes it is. Because no artificial additives are added to 3D Printed Food and it is freshly prepared, it remains its nutrition.

What is the texture of 3D Printed Food?

Most of the Food doesn’t change in consistency and/or texture after printing, so they stay as paste. There are a few materials that, if post-processed, can get different textures after printing, such as chocolate, meringue or meat.

Where can I get designs for shapes?

We provide a couple of designs on your Focus 3D Printer to immediately start creating 3D Dishes yourselves. On our website we aim to upload new designs and recipies every month to keep you updated with the latest creations. Next to this there are different online libraries with free 3D models such as www.thingiverse.com. When you want to make your own design, there are several programmes which can create 3D models such as Doodle3d or TinkerCAD and they don’t require any experience in 3D modelling.

Do you supply cartridges?

We supply refillable cartridges which you can order only. This cartridges are easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Prefilled cartridges are not yet available.

What is the thinnest and thickest Food paste I can print?

The thinnest materials we have printed so far is a raspberry mousse (without additives) and the thickest was cookie dough.

What nozzles sizes are available?

The range of available nozzle sizes is broad: 0.2mm, 0.25mm, 0.41mm, 0.58mm, 0.84mm, 1.19mm, 1.60mm. However, due to the viscosity of food products, we recommend to print with 4 biggest nozzles.

How fast is the 3D Food Printer?

Depending on the structure of ingredients, the printing speed may vary. The standard speed used
for most of food is 20mm/s, which allows to print full dish in maximum 20 mins.

Can I heat the printbed and refillable cartridge?

The Focus cartridge system is not heated. For tips how to print warm substances, please follow the question: I tried to print pure chocolate, but it solidifies in the refillable cartridge and nozzle just after a few minutes.
The printbed, on the other hand, can be heated up to 80°. This allows to pre-fry meat, which helps to remove it from the printbed and continue frying in the pan.

Can I print directly on a cookie/plate/cake?

Yes, the Focus 3D printer has the possibility to adjust the printing height, so you can print on a plate, cookie or a cake. This is necessary for soft materials that cannot be transferred from the printing platform.

What are the requirements for food paste materials for 3D printing?

Food used for 3D Printing needs to have an appropriate consistency and smoothness. It cannot be too thin (like fluids), because it will not keep its shape after printing and will flow over the printing platform. On the other hand, it cannot be too thick, because the motors will not be strong enough to extrude the paste through a small (

Do I need training to start with 3D Food Printing?

While the Focus 3D Printer is easy to use, like with every new technology or skill, it is recommended to get the basics right to improve your performance and results. We offer a 2 hour workshop 3D Food Printing which teaches the whole process from design to 3D Printing for €495. Often we have a special offer for a Focus 3D Food Printer incl. Workshop. Feel free to contact us for more info.

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Contact Support

Support@3dbyflow.com

Get ready for 3d printing!

All the stuff you need

Slic3r Mac

To convert an STL into a gcode. Make sure to switch to expert:
File -> Preferences ->
Mode -> Expert

Install Mac

Slic3r Settings Paste

Download these settings to start printing with the paste extruder.
load them in Slic3r via: File -> Load config

Olive green nozzleGrey nozzle

The manual

The Manual will quickly introduce you to the Focus 3d printer to let you start printing without any problems

Get the manual

Slic3r Windows

To convert an STL into a gcode. Make sure to switch to expert: 
File -> Preferences -> 
Mode -> Expert

Install 32bitInstall 64bit

Slic3r settings Filament

Download these settings to start printing with the filament extruder.load them via load config within Slic3r

Download Filament

Printer firmware

Download here the latest printer firmware and webserver.
Within the folder you will find the instructions how to update

Download printer update

Special offer

€ 2.995,-

€ 3.285,-

€ 5.295,-

€ 6.075,-

Address

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